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 Post subject: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:36 pm 
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With Bellena's help, and being constantly exposed to the language daily from the Merenaese on board the ship, Utsusemi had been making great progress on learning the foreign tongue. It probably also helped that she didn't seem to have the negative disposition towards anything gaijin that was common with the Crane she had once been a part of.

And these private lessons that she got was also an excuse to indulge a little bit in having a few cups of tea that were better than the standard ship-fare they got with their meals.

In Bellena's quarters, she was reading aloud from the book Sanjuro had lent her, which luckily for her seemed to be a collection of poems and songs.

"Hijos del sol y del viento

Aún vivimos en las esquinas
de la nada
entre el norte y el sur de las estaciones.

Seguimos durmiendo
abrazando almohadas de piedra
como nuestros padres.

Perseguimos las mismas nubes
y reposamos bajo la sombra de las acacias desnudas.

Nos bebemos el té a sorbos de fuego
caminamos descalzos para no espantar el silencio.

Y a lo lejos
en las laderas del espejismo
todavía miramos, como cada tarde
las puestas de sol en el mar.

Y la misma mujer que se detiene
sobre las atalayas del crepúsculo
en el centro del mapa nos saluda.

Nos saluda y se pierde
en los ojos de un niño que sonríe
desde el regazo de la eternidad.

Aún esperamos la aurora siguiente
para volver a comenzar.
"

Utsusemi still had a very strong accent of Rokugani in the way she pronounced certain letters, but at least she had gotten to the point where she was remembering that some of the letters were silent.

"Hmmm..." she mused thoughtfully over the work, translating it roughly out loud. "I am still not used to the poetry of Merenae, but it is interesting. It feels sometimes more like a story?"



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Bellena listened to the other woman read, sipped her tea, and nodded at the Dragon's question. "There aren't as many restrictions for length in Merenaese poetry. You can have very brief poems or really long ones that tell some story or idea in a variety of different ways."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:54 pm 
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"It sounds very... freeing, from what I am used to. Traditional Rokugani poetry can be lengthy too, but the most classic and respected form is the five lines of 5-7-5-7-7. Having worked around those frames most of my life, I feel like a bird that does not know what to do when the cage is suddenly gone," she chuckled with some mirth and sipped her tea.

"But it is very pleasing to the ear, both in song and poem: the language, that is. In time, I might make it sound pleasing too. Are there poetry-readings in social affairs or court? Oh right... I should probably try to speak more in Merenaese when we talk."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:12 pm 
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She smiled, "No problema mi amiga. There tends to be more music than poetry in a Merenaese court. Poetry is often reserved for private interactions or general enjoyment."

She leaned forward just a bit in her chair and then said, "This is a personal favorite of mine. See how much you can pick up."

She then began to recite:

"Te recuerdo como eras en el último otoño.
Eras la sombrero gris el corazón en calma.
En tus ojos peleaban las llamas del crepúsculo.
Y las hojas caían en el agua de tu alma.

Apegada a mis brazos como una enredadera,
las hojas recogían tu voz lenta y en calma.
Hoguera de estupor en que mi sed ardía.
Dulce jacinto azul torcido sobre mi alma.

Siento viajar tus ojos y es distante el otoño:
sombrero gris, voz de la oráculo y corazón de casa
hacia donde emigraban mis profundos anhelos,
y mis pensamientos alegres como brasas.

Cielo desde un navío. Campo desde los cerros.
Tu recuerdo es de luz, de humo, de el mar en calma.
Más allá de tus ojos ardían los crepúsculos.
Hojas secas de otoño giraban en tu alma.
"

When she finished she smiled a bit and looked for a response.



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Utsusemi took another sip of tea, settling her mind to translate the piece.

"I remember you being as you were last autumn
You were the grey hat and the calm heart.
In your eyes the flames of twilight... fought?
And leaves fell down the water of your soul.

Attached to my arms as a vine,
the leaves gathered your voice slow and calm.
Bonfire of awe in which my thirst was burning.
Sweet blue hyacinth twisted my soul.

I am sorry to travel your eyes and autumn is faraway:
grey hat, voice of oracle and a heart of home
where my deep yearnings migrated,
and my happy thoughts like embers.

Sky from the ship. Field from the hills.
I remember you of light, of smoke, of calm water.
Beyond your eyes twilight burned.
The dry leaves of atumn revolved in your soul..."

She nibbled on her lower lip in thought. "In the first line, it is te recuerdo; I remember you. But, in the second line in the last verse, you said tu recuerdo?"



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:49 pm 
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She nodded, "It's the difference between 'you' and 'your' in this case. The first line is 'I remember you'. The one at the end... 'Your memory' or the... recollection of you."

She then smiled, "You did quite well. You seem to really have a knack for poetry."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:54 pm 
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"Aha, I see. That makes more sense. It is a very lovely poem... makes me think there were many emotions for the one who wrote it, some who could not be spoken."

She smiled a little too. "I have always enjoyed poetry. I like how we can use it to say feelings that we can sometimes not share. At least in Rokugan. I do not know if it's the same elsewhere, but... there is probably different expectations of what is in public and what is not, no matter where you are, yes?"



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:58 pm 
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She nodded, "The level of formality is quite different I would say. There are times where certain types of things are not acceptable to be said, or certain actions to be taken in Merenae. But in Rokugan those 'restrictive' periods tend to be much more broad and intensely monitored by the public at large... more so than Merenae."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:10 pm 
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"Anything in particular that is considered appropriate in the Empire, but not in Merenae? I prefer not to cause insult if I can avoid it." The more she was hearing about Merenae and the place they were going to, she was able to dispel some of her worries of home to focus on the challenges and experiences that awaited.



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:25 am 
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"Hmmm..." She thought for a moment. "Eating with your hands is relatively uncouth. Also... very little facial expression and body language will usually make people think you're concealing something."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:30 am 
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Her brow creased a little in response to the latter. The first she could understand: not all things were eaten with hands, after all - so that just meant eating utensils for everything. She had heard they used a knife for eating, along with some other stabby-instrument.

"Hm," she pondered it for a moment. "So when I see the Merenaese on the ship speaking, waving their arms about, that is normal?" And they seem to wear their emotions on their sleeves... which they also seem to lack.



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:34 am 
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She nodded. "Quite normal. And they are much more likely to use colorful language in conjunction with more animated movements.

She then leaned back in her chair, "They also have far fewer taboos on physical touching. People often greet each other with a kiss on each cheek."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:42 am 
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Utsusemi's eyes widened. "... Everyone is greeted with kissing? Strangers too?"

She was not too thrilled with the idea that the locals would be kissing her cheeks everytime she met a new person, as for her such gestures were important gestures of an intimacy shared only with the ones she deeply cared for.



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:45 am 
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"Mostly with people you already know. Or those who you know to be friendly if you are meeting them for the first time." She replied.

"But if you appear apprehensive most people will not try and force the issue. Thranes are very different. As are people from the Sands. Not everyone kisses."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:49 am 
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"Ah... that is a relief," she breathed a little easy. "I had been told that some hold hands as a greeting, so I was prepared for that."

Utsusemi chuckled as she shook her head. "What sort of other customs do these others have when greeting eachother?"



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:44 am 
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She smiled and tilted her head upwards as she thought, "Thranes tend to shake hands regularly. Ivindi's put their hands together as if praying and bow slightly. People from the sands will shake hands from man to man, or they will cover their heart with their hand and nod their head slightly."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:25 am 
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"Sounds like there is much to keep track of, depending on who you are speaking with." Benefits of being from a place like Rokugan where the differences were miniscule in comparison.

"Not so sure what I feel about kissing like that..."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:26 am 
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Bellena shrugged. "It's not that big of a deal to me I suppose. If someone tried to kiss me on the lips though... they'd end up with a fist in their face."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:30 am 
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She chuckled a little at the feisty remark. "I might just do that myself then if someone thinks they can fool me into thinking that kissing on the lips is acceptable."

"But I suppose it is all a matter of what one is used to; you have travelled to so many places and seen so many different customs, while I have never really thought I would even travel as far as this from home."



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 Post subject: Re: The Rains In Spain (Dog 7, Evening)
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:31 am 
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She nodded, "What does bring you here? It seems like a woman like you would probably have preferred to be with her children rather than out here on the oceans."



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